After leaving school, years passed during which 'life happened' - there didn't seem time to do any painting at all.
I moved from London to Cornwall- I was persuaded to take private lessons from a couple of local artists I'd met and talked with. After working and gaining confidence with the help & instruction from these two very different artists - I was encouraged to exhibit my work. My first exhibition was held in the back room of a pub! (I didn't sell anything but my confidence was boosted immensely)
My second exhibition - about 1994, I entered several watercolour paintings into the annual exhibition of the local creative arts society. I was thrilled when I actually sold two 'watercolours' :)
Having joined this local arts society I continued learning and 'doing' . I also completed various works for family members- and they actually hung them in their house. This was another big step forward.
I gained more confidence with this success, so now, with a larger Portfolio of work, I applied to Falmouth School of Art - (1995-1997) to do a 2 year Foundation Course in Art & Design (B.Tech) and got accepted! I must say that it was an eye opener going to college, as a 'mature student' - with many challenges to my thinking. I can't say I loved every minute of it but I got through it. The Course included modules on textiles, woodwork, metalwork, photography, drawing, painting, with various visits to outdoor venues. One of the highlights was a weekend trip to London to visit all the main art galleries in the West End (National Gallery, South Bank, Tate etc) That was a terrific experience. I was studying the work of three specific artists, Raoul Dufy, Willem de Kooning, Howard Hodgkin with the emphasis on exploration of the use of colour.
After the Final Exhibition at the end of the second year, I received an Unconditional Acceptance to attend a 3 year Fine Arts (BA) course at Exeter University in 1998. Unfortunately this was not pursued due to other commitments.
Some years passed during which I joined various other local groups - experimenting in mixed media but mostly using water-colour.
More recently I joined Sketch Club Falmouth - which has been great fun meeting many more artistic people. It has also stretched my 'comfort zone' with many new techniques and subject matter. It has been fascinating. Being an artist can be quite a lonely existence so its good to get together occasionally with others of similar interests.
I started painting Cornish landscapes & seascapes, at present just using acrylics and exhibited at several venues in the south west (Flushing Arts Week) and at the 'Flower and Arts Festival' at Brunel Manor, Torquay, Devon. I was also asked to demonstrate various painting techniques - and had the pleasure of encouraging many budding artists.
I enjoy working with and exploring various methods of 'mark-making' not just pencil, but pen & ink drawing, gouache, charcoal, chalk. I continue to explore other creative ideas including interior design, Jacobean embroidery, cross-stitch panels, wool tapestry work, knitting, crochet etc - I find it all really satisfying.